EPISODE 15: Preparing to Spring Forward

In search of the truth, Special Agents William Neal and Patrick Cuccaro explore the mysterious Green world of sustainable special events and catering. What myths will they shatter? What will they uncover?


The Truth is out there…so we’re told.



In Episode 14, our agents discussed recycling and how we can contribute to changing the tide on waste by rallying for positive environmental change. This week, Agents Patrick and William inspire us to get ready for spring.


WILLIAM: Hey Patrick, I feel the need to brag about one of my best traits—my green thumb!


PATRICK:  I wish I could relate to that—I can’t grow a thing now that I’ve given up on chemically enhanced growing methods. Hey, Agent W, I’m freezing right now. Why are we talking about green thumbs?


WILLIAM: Because the warmth and renewal of spring is just around the corner!


PATRICK: Yes, sir! It won’t be long before I can shed some layers for my morning jog and be free! Wow, it was coooooooooold this morning! Brrrrrr!


WILLIAM: Yes it was, and I noticed some of the young plants had started to peek out from the ground last week. I hope they don’t get frost bit.


PATRICK: Atlanta is known for its rich blooming season, and I know many who cover their azaleas with trash bags religiously to keep them from getting nipped by frost.


WILLIAM: I wonder, what do you think they do at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this time of year to prep for spring? I’ll wager they are at full speed.


PATRICK: You bet they are! With warm weather come droves of folks browsing the blooms, and Atlanta Botanical Garden is a popular wedding destination all year, especially in spring, fall and even in winter. But the connection of lush gardens to weddings has a long history. Some of the most sensational weddings in the last few years, and some of the most “infamous”, happened while tip-toeing through the tulips!


WILLIAM: Tell me more!


PATRICK: Well, the first one that pops into my mind—Jennifer Lopez and husband number three Marc Anthony, which was a huge Hollywood styled wedding in a garden. But not all “garden weddings” are alike.


Ashley Tisdale, who first rose to fame on Disney‘s High School Musical films, used wooden farm tables covered with lace table runners to display soft garden roses at her reception, which gave it a country chic style. Actress and supermodel Kate Bosworth did something much more organic and rustic on a ranch in Montana. Both served a menu that was completely organic and threaded many sustainable practices throughout the style and execution of their big days.


By contrast, one of the most interesting garden wedding aficionados has been female crooner Avril Lavigne who married rocker Deryck Whibley, her boyfriend since she was 19. You would think these young punk-inspired entertainers would do something crazy!


Not so. They tied the knot in a gorgeous outdoor garden setting at a California coastal villa. It was as classic as you could get with amazing English garden-inspired floral designs. Great wedding, bad relationship. Marriage #2 was to Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger at Château de La Napoule, a reconstructed medieval castle on the Mediterranean Sea in the South of France. Again, amazing gardens and amazing classic style.


WILLIAM: The common tie in to our Green discussions, Agent C?


PATRICK: All of these high-profile brides and grooms served their guests with sustainability in mind. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a perfect setting for a sustainable wedding here in our fair city.


WILLIAM: That’s fascinating. Affairs has done some glorious weddings at Atlanta Botanical Garden.


Atlanta Botanical Garden Wedding

Atlanta Botanical Garden Picture This! Photography


And we love that space! A planner I recently worked with had pulled some information and found some excellent resources for a sustainability-conscience wedding from Black Sheep Bride. Between a great setting or venue and a bit of research, a bride can add some very good sustainable elements to her plans.


PATRICK: Black Sheep Bride is a terrific name for a website and it has some inspiring info! But back to the spring season. Have you ever taken one of the gardening classes hosted by Atlanta Botanical Garden to sharpen that green thumb of yours, Agent N?


WILLIAM: No, but I’m interested!


PATRICK: The Garden has a wide variety of classes available for adults, everything from “Tai chi in the Garden” to beekeeping and everything botanical in between. One of the classes I am interested in is the Summer Vegetable Garden, but they also have an introductory class called Basics of Edible Gardening for those who are just getting started with growing some of what they eat.


WILLIAM: Weeding and watering, weeding and watering. That’s all I seem to do in mid-summer these days. But, I LOVE IT! I’m looking forward to some succulent heirloom tomatoes this year!


PATRICK: Me, too! Remember that the technology is there for your watering needs. Catch that rainwater, be responsible for using only what you need, and save some money all at the same time!


WILLIAM: Good info, Agent C. It’s never too early to start planning for spring and summer gardening. Just about the time we turn the clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time is when the gardening cowboy hangs up his plow. I like to “fall back” on some canning and cooking using up all of my rich harvest!


PATRICK: Don’t forget to turn over your compost regularly, too, Agent N. We wouldn’t want the natural chemical reactions in the decomposition of organic materials to be slowed down and deprive your garden of rich nutrients!


WILLIAM: You are once again getting all scientific on me, Agent C.! It’s all worm dirt to me! It’s time for me to drive back to headquarters and get started planning our next week’s episode. I’m inspired, are you?


PATRICK: Absolutely, I am! Let’s get into bees next week, okay? You know, with spring just around the corner, the birds and the bees will be working furiously to prepare just like we are for the advent of warm weather!


WILLIAM: My pleasure. I’ll stop on the way back to headquarters and pick up some local honey.


To be continued…



Have you been considering starting a garden in 2015? Or are you planting something new in your established vegetable garden? Share with us in the comments section below what you’ll be growing this year…we’d love to know!


Join us next week as our dynamic “meanie Greenies”—aka Special Agents Patrick Cuccaro and William Neal—talk about bees and how important they are to the food chain, local farmers and the environment.



This week’s 3Rs…


What is Revealed?


REVEALED: Gardening Classes in the Garden





What is Revered?


REVERED: Conserve and Jeff Clark





What is Reviled?


REVILED: Irresponsible Water Waste






Special Agent
Patrick Cuccaro
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Special Agent Patrick Cuccaro possesses an analytical mind and keen intellect. As Past Chair of the Georgia Restaurant Association (2012)—representing more than 4,000 restaurants and 100,000 employees—he casts a studied eye towards one of the country’s largest creators of waste—the food industry. Armed with a vision for…[more]

Special Agent
William Neal
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Agent William Neal is a hardened professional in the culinary industry. Well…maybe not hardened, since his favorite quip is “Never trust a skinny chef!” Agent Neal has held some interesting posts throughout his career. Starting as a chef, he became a…[more]


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